PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The crowd at the Pitt-Penn State game Saturday afternoon broke a record for the largest attendance for any sporting event in Pittsburgh.
A few fans brought cardboard cutouts to remind everyone that legendary coach Joe Paterno was watching as Pitt and Penn State renewed their longtime rivalry.
“Let’s get one for Joe today,” Penn State fan Mike Cohrac said.
“It was Penn State first, and football was second,” John Cohrac said.
But Penn State is not first with everyone in the Cohrac family.
“My son goes to Pitt,” Pitt fan Scott Schusko said. “Hail to Pitt!”
The first Pitt-Penn State game in 16 years is making it tough for some couples to get along.
“It’s difficult on Saturdays,” Pitt fan Bryan Ellis said. “Other than that we get along very well.”
Penn State fans held a giant pep rally and cheered for the Nittany Lions band.
“I grew up in Pittsburgh, I love Pitt,” Penn State alumnus Paul Alexander said, “but I went to Penn State, so that’s where I lie.”
Legions of fans made the game the largest attended sporting event in Pittsburgh history, with 69,983 people in attendance.
Sportscaster Bill Hillgrove calls it a battle for bragging rights and says the dislike for each other still exists.
“It’s Steelers-Browns, it’s Alabama-Auburn, it’s Michigan-Michigan State,” he said. “That’s what this game is all about.”
The dislike still lives on with former Pitt star Adam Walker, who accuses Penn State of stealing a game after he scored a touchdown in 1989.
“That’s why I’m here, rooting my blue and gold on, my Pitt Panthers,” Walker said. “I still don’t like Penn State. They still have a chance to start rooting for the blue and gold, but no, I don’t like them.”
Fans got their money’s worth as Pitt jumped out to a lead, but Penn State came back and made it close.
After 16 years, this game is proof that the rivalry between Pitt and Penn State is still very special, and they’ll play three more games between now and 2019.